Alaska House Representative Sharon Cissna has taken on one of the biggest political challenges in Alaska: trying to beat Representative Don Young for the seat he’s held in Congress for 40 years.
The Anchorage Democrat has served in the state house for 14 years, and rose to nationwide prominence when she refused to allow a TSA agent to frisk her at SeaTac Airport. After being turned away at the gate, she returned to Alaska on the state ferry out of Bellingham, and she even testified before Congress on the need for reforming the TSA.
— (Cissna 1 46 sec “Being very public about my saying … on the job protecting Alaska.”)
Don Young was the chairman of the House Transportation Committee in 2001 when the TSA was created. Cissna says she’s spoken to Young about the act since then:
— (Cissna 2 38 sec “He agrees with that it’s not working … and a change of leadership.”)
Cissna said surviving cancer through modern medicine made her wonder about the conditions in rural Alaska, and how they might be improved:
— (Cissna 3 36 sec “I had been in the legislature for about … of each of those places.”)
She said an astounding amount of money is spent on programs in rural Alaska, but very little of the high-paying jobs they create go to locals. She said the dependency on expensive diesel fuel in villages drives up the costs of everything, and that must change, too:
— (Cissna 4 23 sec “Those are the things we have to … as in that community.”)
Cissna is no stranger to Kodiak – she lived and worked here not long after coming to Alaska:
— (Cissna 5 50 sec “Actually it was in 1974 when I moved … it was very, very special.”)
Cissna faces off against Don Young a week from today, in the General Election, on November 6th.